Yet another reason not to believe all you read on Facebook!

In the WMI Tuesday, Dec 12, 2021, Barbara Bruce, in her article "WMAT Updates" which appears on the front page, quotes Jerry Gloshay Jr. as having said on Lee-Gatewood's Face Book page that WMAT provided the 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree to our nation's Capitol. This is not true. The tree was provided by the US Forest Service and came from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest between Big Lake and Alpine. My wife and I were there. The tree was cut by the Forest Service, logging personnel, and the heavy lifting was completed by construction crews and cranes from a project at one of Round Valley's power plants (Tucson Electric Power.) Yes, the Crown Dancers performed. But the tree itself, an 85-foot Blue Spruce, did not come from reservation property.

The cables to hold the tree and the cutting of the tree were a wonder to witness. The tree never "fell!" The branches that were removed from the tree were also taken to the Capitol and holes were drilled to fill in bare spots on the tree. Looking at the Forest Service (USDA) and the Architect of the Capitol websites it appears that this is one of the tallest trees that has represented the Capitol.

Jan Brewer was governor at the time and along with the people of Arizona had the honor of sending the first tree from Arizona to represent the "People's Tree" at the Capitol. She, along with legislators, were present to light the tree.

Research indicates that in the late 60's a Capitol architect initiated a proposal to have a tree from different National Forests represent the Capitol Christmas Tree each year. This officially began in 1970.

Trees from coast to coast and Alaska have represented the Capitol every year since.

Other trees adorn the capitol grounds and offices each year, but only one tree is the "official" tree. In 2009, the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest was chosen. In 1965 research indicates that the official tree, a Douglas Fir, was procured from a National Forest in PA. A tree from Christmas Lake may very well have gone to the D.C. but it was not the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Lee-Gatewood, Gloshay, and Bruce need to research their facts before writing and publishing an article.

Respectfully Char and Jeff Baker


(1) comment


It is always a good idea not to believe everything that you read.

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